|Excerpts from an interview with Adam Billyard by James Hague:|
JH: 'Was "Bellum" your first game?'
AB: 'The first game I got published was "Bellum" through the Atari Program Exchange competitions. I was seventeen and living in Minnesota at the time. I'd been writing simple games pretty much from the time I started programming when I was twelve, but with the Atari 400 I really got into players [Atari lingo for hardware sprites], display lists, palette animation, and all that good stuff. Previously on the Apple II and the RM380Z--a Z80 based computer popular in British schools--it was very much straight bitmap graphics, so the Atari 400 was quite a revelation for me.'
JH: 'What was the computer system like that you used to write "Bellum"?'
AB: '"Bellum" was written on an 32K RAM Atari 400; the one with the membrane keyboard on which you had to roll your finger presses to get them to register. But I did have an 810 floppy disk drive which made things bearable. The floppy drive was a 19200 baud serial link, but I think you just got used to the waiting for loading plus using the DOS from hell. The DOS on the Atari was very crappy at the time but now when I look at it I can only describe it as criminal!'